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Jones looking to finish strong

Quentin Winstine/The Daily Mississippian

The end of a career is something that senior athletes have to face and Ole Miss’ senior defensive end Jason Jones is doing just that. Before the season started, Jones was the recipient of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award, which granted him the honor to wear No. 38 for his senior season.
“I talk about it with my teammate E.J. Epperson all the time,” Jones said. “Just yesterday, we were doing our sprints, we did them in the stadium, and I was like, man, I only have two more opportunities to play on this turf, to play in this stadium, to be at home where I bleed, sweat and where my tears come in. It is just something that is really meaningful to me, personally.
“I still remember the first time I ran out of the tunnel. You never forget those things, but it has gone by so fast.”
The Albany, Ga. native has battled injuries throughout his career and has been the unfortunate recipient of some setbacks, but he said it has been worth it to wear No. 38 this year.
“It’s been very worth it,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t change it for the world. It has been adversity in my life that has helped me build character, not only as a football player, but as a man. It is something I wouldn’t change at all.”
Now, Jones has the chance to lead his team to bowl eligibility this weekend with a win against Vanderbilt. Jones, who was a part of two Cotton Bowls during his time at Ole Miss, hopes that he can go out on a high note in his senior year.
“It (will do) a lot of good,” Jones said of getting a win this weekend. “It (will send) us somewhere we haven’t been in two years. I was here for the two Cotton Bowls myself, but as a senior you want to go out strong and you want to be the foundation of a program that is being built.”
Jones and his teammates are hoping to relieve some pressure this weekend and become bowl eligible, but Jones knows he doesn’t want to settle for just six wins.
“It does relieve a little pressure, but at the same time you don’t ever want to look at these three teams and think they are mediocre teams,” he said. “You never want to look at we are just going to settle for six games because the more you win, the better the bowl.
“Just (have) respect for yourself, respect for your teammates, respect for your coaches and how they coach and the game plan they put together. You just don’t want to go out and win one game just to be bowl eligible. That’s just satisfying yourself. You don’t want to be satisfied with just this win; you want to try to get all three of them.”
Jones also said he is anxious to see where head coach Hugh Freeze and this program will be a few years down the road after a solid first season so far.
“In less than a year, it is amazing how Coach Freeze has brought this program from like a two to like an eight,” Jones said. “I can’t wait to see how it is going to look a couple of years from now.”
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